Well, how do you pick the bones out of that one? The France v Wales game will be talked about for a long time and, it was a fantastic advert for the Six Nations with so many talking points.
In the end, it was heartbreak for Wales and joy for France. Les Bleus are now able to win the Championship should they beat Scotland with a bonus-point victory in their rescheduled match on March 26. Do that, and they make up the points deficit on Wales.
France versus Wales away team player ratings
Overall, discipline finally got the better of the Welsh. Not giving up any red cards over the recent match history, it finally cost them dearly. Even though it ended up 13 versus 14, that was one too few for Wales to retain their Grand Slam hopes yet, individuals still provided some fine examples.
These are the @LWOSRugby France versus Wales away team player ratings for Saturday evening’s match in Paris.
Backs ran hard, Biggar best example
Liam Williams – Full back. Some great kicks ahead chased and caught; however he spilled the ball after one of the kicks when in a good attacking position. A lovely acrobatic take from a French kick early in the second half. Along with North held up a French player when they had crossed the line in the last 10 minutes. Shortly after was sin binned for being off his feet. 7.5.
Louis Rees-Zammit – Wing. One of Wales’ best performers. Came infield for lots of work, sometimes as part of a planned move. Each time he made yards and looked dangerous. Two disallowed tries, one early, the latter midway through the second half was unlucky, he dived for the corner but grounded against the base of the corner flag and was millimeters out. Passed slightly behind Liam Williams who had entered the line during a promising attack. 8.
George North – Centre. Another good performance from him. Battered away at the French backline when running with ball in hand and tackled well. He shot out of the Welsh defensive line early in the second half which went unpunished by the French. Slipped off Brice Dulin for the Frenchman’s disallowed try but it was so close to the line, it would have been almost impossible for North to stop him. 8.
Jonathan Davies – Centre. He made some decent breaks and was solid defensively. Perhaps a little bit one-dimensional in attack but that is harsh on a Welsh great who has been a fantastic servant to the national team. 7.5.
Josh Adams – Wing. Like his wing counterpart, came in for work but wasn’t quite as effective as Rees-Zammit. Touched down after a pass from Tomos Williams following a kick through by Tipuric. The try went to the TMO who stayed with the referee’s on-field decision and awarded it. 7.
Good evening students!
Welcome to today's lesson: Mathematics, specifically, angles 📐
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) March 20, 2021
Dan Biggar – Fly half. Had a good game also. Should he have got the hook with just over ten minutes to go? (He may have been carrying a minor knock/cramp) It’s a ploy that Wayne Pivac has used throughout the Championship and Sheedy has played well as a replacement. Biggar got a try early on after a period of Welsh pressure. Showed good control of proceedings in the first half. Very committed defensively and tackled excellently. Like North, shot out of the Welsh defensive line once and was lucky that Wales wasn’t punished. 8.5.
Gareth Davies – Scrum half. His distribution was good. His box kicks were hit and miss. Possibly over-relied on it as a tactic? 7.
Forwards all committed themselves 100%
Wyn Jones – Prop. Carried well and was part of a solid Welsh scrum early on. The French did eventually get the upper hand. Was on the receiving end of some rough treatment by Paul Willemse who was sent off. 8.
Ken Owens – Hooker. Not sure what’s in the air at the moment. First Tadgh Furlong, now the Welsh hooker could be seen sidestepping an opponent in open field! His lineout throwing was secure and he also played his part away from set-pieces in defence and attack. 8.
Tomas Francis – Prop. The Welsh scrum was strong at the beginning but gradually France got the upper hand in this area. 7.5.
Alun Wyn-Jones (captain) – Lock. Used all his nous when asking the referee if Wales should have been awarded a penalty try when Mohammed Haouas was sin binned for collapsing a maul. The man in the middle, Luke Pearce ruled no as the Welsh try was not guaranteed had pay continued. Led the Welsh tackle count with 22. The luck ran out for him and his side on this occasion. 8.
"Hopefully we made the people at home proud." 🏴
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 20, 2021
Adam Beard – Lock. Workmanlike display from the Ospreys man. Subbed for Hill just before the hour mark. 7.5.
Josh Navidi – Flanker. Touched down on eighteen minutes after Wales had gone through the phases. Another to defend manfully on his own line. 8.
Justin Tipuric – Flanker. Provided an option at the lineout and was his usual reliable self. Showed a deft touch to grubber kick through in the build up to the Adams try. Gave away a penalty for a no arms tackle. 8.
Taulupe Faletau – Number Eight. Made good yards with his characteristic breaks. Could be relied upon as a safe pair of hands from French restarts. Another to hold a French attacker up when he had crossed the line. Alas it wasn’t enough. Sin binned in the last ten minutes for offside after Wales had been warned. 7.5.
Elliot Dee – Hooker. On at 68 minutes for Owens. Made a few tackles after coming on. 7.
Nicky Smith – Prop. On very late in the game. N/A.
Leon Brown – Prop. On for Francis and part of a series of substitutions made on the 68-minute mark. The French piled on the pressure and the Welsh scrum coughed up some penalties towards the end. 7.
Cory Hill – Lock. On at 56 minutes for Adam Beard. Won lineout ball and made some tackles. Unfortunately gave away a vital penalty for sealing off at the ruck when Wales was in possession and minutes away from a Grand Slam. Not individually culpable. The whole team lost discipline under pressure; ironic given how strong Wales had been in this area throughout the Six Nations. Anxiety and desperation must have crept in with victory within touching distance. 7.
Liam Botham – Flanker. Competed at the breakdown. On too late for a rating. N/A.
Tomos Williams – Scrum half. On earlier than expected, possibly pre-planned? Poor box kick from his own 22. Assisted Adams for his try. 6.5.
Callum Sheedy – Fly half. Not much he could do offensively. Contributed in defense with tackles and a kicked clearance. 7.
Willis Halaholo – Centre. Couldn’t make his mark in the final outcome. France had laid siege to the Welsh line for a lot of the time that he was on after replacing Davies. 7.
Wales now must sit idle, before the replayed fixture between France and Scotland on March 26. Calculations aside, the Scots must play out of their skins. But for Wales, each player has contributed in their own way to an accomplished 2021 Guinness Six Nations campaign.
Do you agree with our France versus Wales away team player ratings for Saturday evening’s Six Nations match in Paris? If not, comment below or join the conversation on the LWOS Boards.
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